Denzel Washington was forced to pull out of a White House ceremony where he was to be awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom after testing positive for COVID-19.
The Oscar-winning actor and director was among 17 others to receive the award, the highest civilian honor that can be awarded in the US.
President Joe Biden handed out the medals at Thursday’s event, but said he would give those to Washington “at a later date.”
“There’s a man who couldn’t be here today but wanted to be: Denzel Washington, one of our greatest actors in American history,” he said.
“He couldn’t be here with us today, but I will give him this award at a later date when he is able to come here.”
The Presidential Medal of Freedom is awarded to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the prosperity, values, or security of the United States, world peace, or other significant public, public, or private endeavors.
Besides Washington, other celebrities on the list include two Olympic gold medalists, soccer player Megan Rapinoe and gymnast Simon Biles.
Addressing Biles, who at 25 is the youngest recipient of the honour, Mr Biden said: “She’s adding to her medal tally today – I don’t know how you’re going to find room.”
Gun control advocate Gabby Giffords also received the award.
The president described her as “one of the bravest people I know.”
The Democrat nearly died after being shot in the head in January 2011 during a constitutional event in Tucson.
Denzel Washington to miss Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony due to COVID-19 | News from the USA
Source link Denzel Washington to miss Presidential Medal of Freedom ceremony due to COVID-19 | News from the USA